On Friday, a steeple was erected at the in Cranberry, fulfilling a longtime dream of its members.
“This will mean we are recognizable as a church again,” said Sherry Cameron, who has been with the church for more than 40 years. “We were so recognizable before as a church when we had the little white one.”
Cameron is referring to is the original Dutilh Church. Built in 1884, the church was destroyed in fire suspected as arson close to 30 years ago. The case never was solved, Cameron said.
Instead of shutting down, church leaders vowed to build bigger. In 1988, the current Dutilh United Methodist Church building was dedicated, but plans for a steeple were put on hold as the congregation concentrated on completing the sanctuary and classrooms.
After a yearlong fundraising campaign, the church pulled together about $135,000 this fall for the steeple project. About a dozen church members were outside the big brick building Friday
Dutilh Church is located near the intersection of Interstate 79 and the Turnpike and is often the first building people see upon entering Cranberry Township. Congregation leaders hope the steeple, which is about 40 feet in height, will act as a beacon to welcome people to the community.
“Watching it go up, there is a feeling of energy and promise for a bright future with Dutilh Church," said Debbie Pisor, the church’s pastor of externally focused ministry. “I feel grateful that God had called us to be a part of this community.”